Everyone in England complains about the NHS (National Health Service) and I used to be one of those people, but I am finding that more and more I am convinced that the system isn’t that bad (translation in Stephanie terms: pretty good). Of course it has its flaws, but I think that people are missing the point that this is free (I pay my taxes) healthcare available to everyone.
Let’s think about what a rip off health insurance is in the States. I once went to the hospital for a bladder infection so that I could get a prescription for antibiotics and the visit cost a whopping $2750. And that didn’t even include seeing a doctor or the actual pills. What a joke. Thankfully I have enough money that things like that would kill me, but what if I didn’t have health insurance and I broke my arm or even worse? I’d be dunzo bankrupt.
This doesn’t happen in England. I am a foreigner and I have an address here therefore I am entitled to free health care here. I have a pretty good GP around the corner from my house that always books me into an appointment within 1 day of calling. I now have a specialist rheumatologist who is really good and caring. The NHS even gives you free birth control. Yeah right that they will do this stuff in the States.
The flaws of the system? That i’m not really sure about yet because I haven’t had to go through any surgeries or anything. I did have to wait a few months for my specialist referral appointment which was annoying. Another annoyance is I have been sitting here in the waiting room to get my blood tests done for about 30 minutes now and I still have 13 people in front of me (they have gotten through 6 people in that time). Not ideal, but at least I have wireless access in here and can rant about things. Oh and the final annoyance is that the hospitals are pretty worn down looking.
Overall though I’d like to say that my experience with the NHS has been positive. I’ve thusfar gone through a battery of tests and seen quite a few specialists and everyone has been helpful and professional. Things take a little bit longer but based on the fact that it is a free service I can certainly practise a little bit of old fashioned patience.
I makes me sad to think that Americans, while the hospitals and treatments might be more advanced than here if you are lucky enough to have private insurance, still suffer at the hands of evil health care organisations. Top that off with the fact that there are millions upon millions of people that live in the States with no health care at all and you realise that the healthcare system is completely corrupt and broken. When the hell is someone going to fix it?